The U.S. Peace Corps, the government-run volunteer body, is pulling out of Honduras in response to security fears as narcotics-related violence spreads in Central America.
The organization announced earlier this week that 158 volunteers were being pulled from Honduras in January. Training there and for new volunteers in Guatemala and El Salvador has been canceled.
The 222 volunteers already serving in Guatemala and 113 volunteers in El Salvador will stay and the Peace Corps is looking at how to improve their security.
“The safety and security of all Peace Corps volunteers is the agency’s highest priority,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams.
“During this time, we are going to conduct a full review of the program,” he added. “We thank the people of Honduras for their strong support of Peace Corps over the years.”
The region is increasingly troubled by organized crime violence related to massive drug trafficking from Latin America to the United States.